Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 28 June 2010

FIFA need to bring in goal-line technology

England got thrashed 4-1 by Germany in the World Cup second round yesterday. We deserved it too. We were by far the weaker side on the day. The defensive problems that had been apparent throughout the group stage were present in abundance. The final German goal tally of 4 could easily have been more like 6 or 7.

So Germany certainly deserved to win and are looking like they might be contenders for the title. Even if we had somehow managed to scrape through by luck yesterday do we honestly think we could have beaten for example Argentina given their masterful performance yesterday?

However despite all of this there is something that happened yesterday that was a travesty. Towards the end of the first half when England were 2-1, Lampard scored a goal for England. It bounced down off the crossbar and clearly landed about two feet over the line:

However the referee and linesman (and fourth official) did not spot this and the goal was not given.

Now just to reiterate, in the end I think that even if this goal had been given it would have been tough for England to win and the best team won on the day. Although it is fair to say that going into the break at 2-2 could have changed the dynamics of the game and it may have been closer than it ultimately turned out to be.

But the biggest issue here is that FIFA are a laughing stock and they are bringing the game into disrepute. Technology has now reached the point where within a couple of minutes everyone in the stadium would have known what everyone at home knew within a few seconds, that it was clearly a goal and that the referee had got it totally wrong.

It's not just this incident. There have been other dodgy goal decisions throughout this tournament. FIFA seem to have an institutional blind-spot when it comes to this. Rugby uses technology. Tennis has hawkeye which I think has been a huge success and ensures that the top matches are much more fair. Why can't football?

Gary Lineker yesterday suggested that a system of "challenges" like they have in Tennis could be used in football and frankly I think the arguments against it are now pretty threadbare. Yes, there would be a disparity between how the top matches and the ones lower down are refereed and yes, it is possible that more calls for further use of technology could follow but we surely cannot carry on applying the rules in a way that worked fine 50 years ago relying on the eyesight of two or three people who may not even be facing the correct way and may be dozens of yards away when the technology to definitively settle the question in a few seconds is readily available.

FIFA need to make sure this is the last World Cup where this can happen.


Bernard Salmon said...

Agreed, but the technology should only be used for things like goals, offsides, and whether a foul was inside or outside the penalty area. Judgement calls on fouls or handballs or red and yellow cards should still be down to the referee - providing there is a system for review afterwards to redress obvious injustices.

Richard said...

"Germany...contenders for the title".
Can I have some of what you're smoking - the title is heading to South America.

bill said...

I have to agree with Richard: I think either Brazil or Argentina will take the cup home.